With the Worldwide Developers Conference kicking off yesterday, Apple promised the future of iOS. At the event, we saw the tech giant unveil iOS 6 and the biggest announcement during the new operating system announcement was the introduction of an all new Maps. With Google no longer providing the back end for Maps on iOS, one may wonder which service is now sourcing data for the application. A report by Engadget has revealed that Dutch manufacturer TomTom is one of the main providers of this data.
Here is the new data source for Apple Maps
As per the report, TomTom has confirmed this as true and states that they have signed a global agreement with Apple for Maps and other information. The news about TomTom providing data first surfaced when a leaked screenshot of the developer beta of iOS 6 had the name TomTom as part of the acknowledgements for Maps. The report states, “The Company is no stranger to iOS, as its navigation app and car kit have been available on the iPhone since 2009. On an interesting note, the Maps application specifically mentions "data from TomTom, others," which means there may be other suppliers that aren't getting called out by name.”
Commenting on this new update to Maps in the updated operating system, Apple states that iOS 6 includes an all new Maps app with vector-based map elements that make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting and zooming incredibly fluid. New turn-by-turn navigation guides one to their destination with spoken directions, and the Flyover feature has photo-realistic interactive 3D views. Real-time traffic information keeps one updated on how long it will take to get to their destination and offers alternate time-saving routes if traffic conditions change significantly. Additionally, local search includes information for over 100 million businesses with info cards that offer Yelp ratings, reviews, available deals and photos.
With the introduction of the new Maps application, Apple is distancing themselves away from Google and the on going patent wars may be one of the factors responsible in this shift implementing it. Let us know your thoughts on Apple signing a global agreement with TomTom for their Maps service and what are your general thoughts on the new Maps applications in the comments below.